Turning Urban Blight Into Bee Farms

Urban bee farming is bringing new life to Detroit. 🐝

Something to Bee-lieve in

Detroit is ranked amongst America’s unhealthiest cities based on a list by WalletHub. But this non-profit wants to combat unhealthy eating and Detroit’s urban decay using an unlikely ally: bees. In 2017, Detroit Hives was founded by Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsay, after he recovered from a bad cold with the aid of natural raw honey. Detroit Hives operated just 1 apiary when they began — Now, they are active in 9 locations. In addition to producing honey, they host school tours and community events to show how important sustainable food sources could be for the community. At least 23.5 million Americans live in food deserts — areas where access to healthy, affordable food options are limited according to DoSomething.org.

Which is why Tim and Nicole, who are dating according to the Detroit Free Press, have purchased empty lots around the city — some, they say, for as little as $100 — and populated them with boxed bee hives, all for the long-range purpose of making honey and educating the community. Detroit Hives, the nonprofit Tim and Nicole started, is just one of numerous, creative enterprises that have seen gold in our weeds and harvest in our dirt. Recently, there were stories about Detroit’s first vineyard in 60 years, which is reportedly cultivating two acres in the city. Urban gardens are now growing fruits and vegetables at an ever-increasing rate.

Tim and Nicole learned you can buy bees from local beekeepers, either in boxes with the queen separate from the colony, or a nucleus colony where the queen is already getting busy, laying up to 2,000 eggs a day while thousands of worker bees are ready to gather pollen and nectar.
By exposing the next generation to Detroit Hives, Paule says he hopes they will be more inspired to take control of their nutrition.